Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has described as “enormous,” the economic gains to be derived from reviving the Sapele, Warri, Burutu, and other ports in Delta state.
He also harped on the need for oneness in Urhobo nation, urging its leaders to prioritize the interest of the ethnic nationality in their different dispositions.
He spoke at the inaugural public lecture of the Urhobo Renaissance Movement (URM), held Tuesday, at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun.
URM, a group of professionals of Urhobo extraction, seeks to “rekindle the spirit of unity” and promote development across Urhobo nation.
Represented by an aide, Chuks Erhire, Senator Omo-Agege said rebirthing the culture of Urhobo people will include developing the economic and social sectors of the land.
“Your task in cultural renaissance, as you know, has to take into account the totality of our ‘Urhoboness’. It is in this context that I understand your earlier call on the federal authorities to resuscitate the six sea ports in Urhobo and adjourning lands that have since been abandoned or closed to commercial traffic. These include Sapele, Warri, Koko, Forcados, Burutu and Escravos ports.
“There’s need for a concise, constructive and sustained follow-up on this until the desired results are obtained as we are aware of the enormous economic potential this holds. This is in terms of job creation, as well as the creation of ancillary industries, complete with the multiplier trails they leave in their wake.”
Omo-Agege while recalling the efforts of the founding father of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Chief Mukoro Mowoe, to ensuring unity across Urhobo land, posited that the establishment of the renowned Urhobo College, Effurun (UCE), in 1946 “is a reconciling symbol”.
He further urged the organisation to use its various capacities to forge the much needed “unity of purpose and interest within the Urhobo leadership, and nation in general. We cannot be tired of calling for unity of purpose among our people since our nominal strength translates to divisions and clashes”.
Meanwhile, in his lecture, Professor of Commercial and Industrial Law, Prof. Joseph Abugu, opined that keys to reviving the fortunes of Urhobo nation should be directed towards cultural, economic and political “resurgence”.
Calling for Urhobo leaders to be “vocal” in the agitation for Nigeria’s restructuring, he said, “the clamour for restructuring of this country will continue and only equity will cure it. Our independence will come when our leaders recognize there is inequality in the system.”
Former Minister of Information, who chaired the occasion, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, had earlier commended the organization for remaining steadfast in its vision to ensuring the development of Urhoboland, urging those with “access to where decisions are being taken” to use it as an “asset”.
Dignitaries at the ceremony include member representing UghelliSouth North/South/Udu Federal constituency Hon. Francis Waive, Convener of URM, Professor Hope Eghagha, traditional rulers, among others.